So, before I cram this post full of pictures... actually Ill just cram this post full of pictures.
With the proviso of:
EVERYTHING IS SOOOO MUCH COOLER IF YOU SEE IT IN PERSON!
So, above is the sight you are greeted with on arrival. I have to say it is extremely impressive; there are two large stages - aptly named J and K - and both are gi-huge. As soon as you get near the entrance, you are bombarded with the sound (awesome sound of course) of Harry Potter. And believe me, even after four hourse, you don't tire of it.
Remember these? All of the chess pieces from HP1 are still around folks, just guarding the stages and ticket sales folk. I wanted one to move - I was sort of half expecting one to actually - but they didn't... or did they?
Can you believe the car found its way out of the forest? It now hangs happily in the entrance hall - which is huge by the way - for everyone to see. Along with Hedwig, in her cage, and several massive canvas pictures of the cast, the car decorates the entrance hall; there is the standard info deak (cloakroom) blah blah and the employees are awesome! They all know just a little too much about HP...
Which was fine with me.
Plus, we all got these Harry Potter passports for the tour. They were cool. And they'd come in ahndy later on too; stamps you know. Stamps. And flying lessons... and duelling club.
Into the Great Hall, and it is Great. They called it a 'hot' set. Meaning, of course, that it was ready to be filmed on at any moment. The hall is massive and so incredibly detailed. You have to take care not to gawk! The goblets and pitchers were cool, as were the costumes (see above).
What is the HP tour without Dumbledore's office? Need I say more?
I had to stick this in, because I just loved this from the film. I always did wonder how they made all the props look so realistic... I asked one of the tourguides. Did you know every label you see, every book, every picture frame; they were all hand-made? People took the time to write every single label in Snape's potion room, Ollivander's wand shop... Think of all the books the characters have read over the years... That is just mind blowing.
And speaking of potions. Here is a little snippet of the Potions classroom. That set was seriously awesome. And kind of creepy.
And creepy does not do this set justice. Umbridge's office was so pink it was almost sinister. Voldemort's cave and Malfoy's dark manor had nothing on this. The pink was seriously revolting; it looked so happy it was evil. Shivers...
Outside was where we tasted Butterbeer!!!! Only two places in the world sell the stuff. And it is yummy. You must try some. Anyway, Privet drive, Godric's Hollow, the Hogwarts Bridge, the Riddle tombstone and the Knight Bus can all be found outside. So much fun.
Past the monsters and into Diagon Alley! So much to look at, so little time. That is all I'm saying. ;)
And can you believe this is a model? Just wow. It's the last part of the tour and certainly the grandest.
It was an ace day and something suitable for anyone with the slightest HP tendency. Add that to the huge shop at the end of the tour an dyou have a winner. I hope you all like the pictures. I ended up snapping over 400! Most of them were rubbish but a good proportion of them were damn good, if I do say so myself. The whole tour was superb; I'd definitely go again.
Even if I'd have to force my dad to take us.